An Extreme Case

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“Bush Demands Arafat Arrest Terrorists” reads the CBC news release headline. “I strongly condemn them as acts of murder that no person of conscience can tolerate and no cause can ever justify,” said United States President, George W. Bush. The time for merely talking about opposition to terrorism has passed, the President went on to say.

Coming from the lips of George Bush this has got to be a cynical joke. Surely the case of the pot calling the kettle black.

I strongly agree with Mr. Bush’s sentiments here, probably more than he does.

If the President was serious about opposing terrorism, in addition to pointing the finger at only his favourite groups of terrorists, he would also be cleaning his own house.

There are of plenty of terrorists living down in Florida's Cuban communities and are safe enough, as long as they vote Republican.

And legions of others — either active on behalf of the American government’s interests — or retired, are responsible for untold numbers of terrorist atrocities in Latin America and around the world.

No, it is not terrorists that Mr. Bush seeks to put an end to. Rather, people that he and his ilk see as an impediment to the political and economic interests they are striving to contain and, where possible, crush.

Some of them might happen to be terrorists, but not exclusively, that is quite obvious.

Between the events of September 11 and the resulting attack on civil liberties and rights by the U.S. and Canadian governments — as well as the bloody soap opera in Afghanistan — a lot of attention has been diverted away from more immediate local matters.

Particularly here in British Columbia, where our own homegrown form of Taliban — under Liberal Premier Gordon Campbell — has been merrily slashing and tearing apart the fabric of the province on a daily basis.

One of the latest developments to come out of the office of “Mullah” Gordon is the Select Standing Committee on Aboriginal Affairs report, recommending the form for the government’s vaunted referendum on treaties.

The SSCAA report is a silly document resulting from an offensive process carried out to make good on a campaign promise used to gain votes through motivating racial fears and ignorance.

It has also caused a gross waste of precious taxpayer dollars and promises to burn up millions more.

It is time that we reach a final settlement of treaty issues in B.C., but it must come from respectful negotiations by all parties, aimed at achieving fairness — particularly for those most seriously and directly affected.

This fairness will not be achieved with such political grandstanding, and racially divisive and provocative vehicles as Mr. Campbell’s referendum.

But, fair settlement is not what “Mullah” Gordon has in mind. That might cost the province too much in cash and resources.

One can tell from the proposed questions in the referendum that a foregone conclusion has already been reached, with this ballot designed to merely ratify it.

Including simple “yes” or “no” questions like some grade-school exam, and silly motherhood ones, almost as embarrassing as “Does the sun rise in the east, yes or no?”

Then there are other questions whose principle purpose is to cause fear of treaties and First Nations people.

And to cap it off, like some get-rich-quick marketing gimmick, the referendum will be administered through a mail-in ballot scheme.

Many British Columbians are opposed to this expensive charade. Those who aren’t yet, should think long and hard about it before they get suckered in.

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